Chapter One: Lady Lazarus
My very first story! I'm really excited and nervous about this, so I hope you like it :)
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all its characters belong to Joss Whedon and Supernatural belongs to Eric Kripke. The quote belongs to the owners of the blog it comes from. Definitely not mine.
~~~~~Chapter OneThe bad news is, your choices and intentions, some people and places, the nights spent awake and all you’ve done, can lead you to the bottom of the pit.
The good news is, this wouldn’t be the first time someone’s crawled, tooth and nail, out of hell.
It was warm and sunny and pleasant and Dean could hardly believe it. The contrast between this beautiful day and the horror of his time in Hell was almost enough to cause him to break down. Instead, he took a huge, calming breath and opened his eyes. He was on his back, lying on the ground, so the first thing he saw was the clear, blue sky. He almost smiled at that.
Dean sat up and came face to face with a beautiful, smiling woman with shining golden hair and bright green eyes. She was smiling and it wasn’t forced, but hidden behind it deep inside her eyes was an ages-old pain. She sat at his feet with her legs folded under her and did nothing but smile warmly at him, waiting for him to be ready to talk to her.
And he was ready. “Is this Heaven?” he asked after a few attempts to make sound. His voice was low and raspy from disuse.
She chuckled and it was the most wonderful sound Dean had ever heard. It was lovely and full of real enjoyment, not the malice and hate all the laughter of Hell had been home to. She shook her head and told him, “No, Dean. This is Illinois.”
He frowned and touched his face, as if checking to make sure he was awake and solid. “You mean I’m alive again? This is earth and everything and I’m not in Hell?” he demanded.
She smiled again and said, “Yes. The angels have brought you back so you may continue to serve your purpose.”
Dean laughed, but it was short and harsh and there was no humor in it. “Right. Angels. This is just some trick, isn’t it? I’m still in Hell.”
She lifted an eyebrow, her smile gone. When she spoke, her voice was full of deep bitterness and old anger. “Alastair really did a number on you, didn’t he? No, Dean, this is no demon’s trick.” She looked him dead in the eye and told him with undeniable conviction, “I’m real, this place is real, angels are real, and you’re alive. An angel named Castiel sent me here to help you.”
Dean snorted at the absurdity and tuned the woman out, taking a moment to look at his surroundings. He was sitting in the grass of a tiny clearing, surrounded by flattened trees. They looked like a bomb had gone off right where he was sitting and blown them all down. Next to him, was an empty grave, recently dug. There was a pile of dirt next to the hole in the ground with the shovel still in it. To the side of the grave sat a flimsy, homemade pine box, which was open and dirty. At the head of the grave was a modest wooden cross, marking someone’s final resting place. Or, not so final, if that was his grave like he suspected it was.
He turned his attention to the woman again, carefully scrutinizing her. She sat quietly and watched him watch her. Her pretty blond hair was tied back in a sloppy tail, her haunted green eyes adorned with simple black liner. She was dressed in tight jeans and a white tank top with a grey plaid flannel over it, her feet bare. Her clothes, feet, and hands were darkened with fresh dirt, which had found its way onto her cheek and under her nails. He could only assume she had dug up his coffin and somehow managed to pull it out of the grave with him in it.
He cleared his throat in attempt to get his voice working again before he asked, “What’s the date?”
She looked sad for a moment and briefly looked away from him. “It’s September eighteenth, two thousand and eight. You’ve been dead for four months.” She looked at him for a moment, eyes sorrowful, and Dean felt himself wanting to turn away from her gaze. “I don’t imagine forty years in hell was a cake walk for you,” she murmured.
Dean’s heart clenched and his brain busily shied away from remembering any of his time in the pit. He didn’t deny her words, though. Instead he asked angrily, “Yeah, and what would you know about it?”
Something dark and dangerous flashed in her eyes and he felt his instincts reacting, sending fear flooding through him. But the look was gone before he was even sure it was there in the first place. She smiled at him, but it wasn’t warm like it had been before. It was just her mouth moving. “More than you know,” she murmured.
Something told Dean to let it go. He decided to change the subject and asked, “So, if what you say is true and an angel pulled me out and sent you here, then what makes you so special? Why did he send you, of all people? You’re just a girl.”
She laughed now and her smile turned genuine. “I’m way more than just a girl, buddy. You’ll see that soon enough. As for why I was sent, it was for a number of reasons. Because of who I am, I am uniquely qualified to help you get through what’s to come. I am here to help you in the fight and to guide you through the aftermath of your years in hell,” she explained.
“I don’t even remember hell. How can you help me deal with something I don’t remember? How would you even know how to help me, anyway? I was in hell, lady, not Cancun,” he snapped.
Her eyes narrowed slightly and she leaned forward to tell him, “You’ll remember soon enough, Dean. And I’ll help you when you do because no one else will have a clue how to. I’ll be all you’ve got.”
He scoffed and asked, “How come you’re so special? Why do you know how to help me when no one else does?”
She leaned away from him and got slowly to her feet, so she was looking down her nose at him. She drew herself up to her full height of five foot nothing, as if to challenge him. “Do you really want to know?” she growled quietly. At his nod, she told him, “I know how to help you because I spent two hundred and forty years in hell. So I think I’m a little bit qualified for the job.”